The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    Testing the effect of vitamin D treatment on symptoms of depression

    Low vitamin D levels are associated with depressive symptoms, especially in people with a history of depression.

    Researchers at the University of Massachusetts, in Amherst, evaluated the impact of daily supplementation with vitamin D combined with elemental calcium on depression.

    First, the details.

    • 36,282 postmenopausal women were randomly assigned to a treatment group.
      • Daily supplementation with 400 IU of vitamin D(3) + 1,000 mg of elemental calcium
      • Placebo
    • Depressive symptoms as measured by the Burnam scale and current use of antidepressant medication were used to assess depressive symptoms at the start of the study.
    • 2 years later, women again reported on their antidepressant use, and 2,263 completed a second Burnam scale.
    • Neither the patients nor researchers knew the treatment given — double blind.

    And, the results.

    • After 2 years, there was no difference in women taking vitamin D and calcium vs placebo.
    • Vitamin D supplementation was not associated with antidepressant use or continuous depressive symptom score.
    • Results adjusted for baseline vitamin D levels and calcium intake, solar irradiance, and other factors were similar.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “The findings do not support a relation between supplementation with 400 IU/day of vitamin D(3) along with calcium and depression in older women.”

    It’s possible that previously reported links between low vitamin D and depression might be related to confounding effects such as of lifestyle and diet instead.

    It’s also possible that the vitamin D dose taken in this study was too small to have an effect.

    9/4/12 20:44 JR

    Comments are closed.